Match of the Round
Thornton v New Lambton
Sunday 15th April, 2:30 pm
Last start: Thornton lost 8-0 to South Wallsend, New Lambton drew 1-1 with Merewether
Position on ladder: Thornton last, nil points; New Lambton 4th, 5 points
A number of changes will be made to Thornton’s starting line-up but won’t be confirmed until after training on Thursday night. New Lambton’s Carson McGovern will replace Sarah Bennett and Joey Burgess will miss the match due to work commitments. A decision on Joey’s replacement will be made after training on Friday night.
What the coaches say
Thornton coach Rob Richardson wants his side to have more urgency and prove they are better than the ladder shows.
“South Wallsend took us to task last weekend but the girls have trained well at training this week,” Richardson said.
“We have focused on not giving up cheap possession and New Lambton are a quality outfit but I know the girls will be out to prove they are a better team.”
New Lambton coach Keelan Hamilton says his side needs to prove their performance last weekend wasn’t a fluke.
“After a positive performance against Merewether, we need to make sure we back that performance up with a strong showing on Sunday,” Hamilton said.
“We are taking small steps at a time and each week our young players are getting more confident.
“They will continue to develop as they become more experienced and Thornton will be a tough match so we will have to perform at our best to get the result we want.”
Both sides are coming from opposite ends of the scale with Thornton suffering a heavy loss and New Lambton performing well against Merewether. Thornton is the only team in the league yet to win a game so expect them to come out firing. The Redbacks have had some close results so it would be dangerous for New Lambton to discount them. Joey Burgess is a big loss for the Eagles as her combination with Tara Andrews was simply superb last weekend. Thornton could be fielding a new line-up and a new look squad could be the key to winning this match. Both sides will be itching for a good performance and will need to be at their best for 90 minutes to win this one.
Adamstown v South Wallsend
Sunday, 15th April 2:30 pm
Adamstown No.1 Oval
Last start: Adamstown lost 3-1 to Wallsend, South Wallsend won 8-0 against Thornton.
Position on ladder: Adamstown 5th, 4 points, South Wallsend 6th, 3 points
Courtney Wiltshire will again replace Taylor Kelly who is out injured with Kate Lindsay possibly having a chance at returning if she passes the fitness test for Adamstown. Laynee Field will replace the injured Maddy Searl who is waiting on test results in an otherwise unchanged line-up for south Wallsend.
What the coaches say
Adamstown coach Paul Devitis is hoping to improve on a poor performance against Wallsend a fortnight ago and return to the winner’s circle.
“Coming off the bye has allowed us to rest players who have been injured which is good,” Devitis said.
“We have been focusing on the basics of quick ball movement which is something we lacked against Wallsend.
“South Wallsend are coming off a huge win and are at full strength so we are expecting a very difficult and physical game.”
Adamstown has had a week off to rest injured players and return to basics at training which is a big advantage heading into this match. Whilst their performance against Wallsend was disappointing, it’s certain that coach Paul Devitis will have his side fired up and ready to win. The added possibility of Kate Lindsay returning is a huge boost for the Buds so South Wallsend will be expecting a tough game. The Wolves are heading into the match with an 8-0 win under their belt and will be hoping to keep the momentum flowing for Sunday’s game. The loss of captain Maddy Searl will certainly be felt, but now that South Wallsend have kick-started their season, they could be difficult to stop. A physical matchup that could go either way but Adamstown taking the chocolates is likely.
Warners Bay v Merewether
Sunday, 18th April 2:30 pm
Last start: Warners Bay beat Wallsend 4-2, Merewether drew 1-1 with New Lambton
Position on ladder: Warners Bay 1st, 13 points, Merewether 2nd, 10 points
Sian Keating will miss the match due to personal commitments with Holly Ayton returning from injury in a full-strength Warners Bay line-up. Merewether goalkeeper Alison Logue and Rhali Dobson will miss the match due to unavailability with Sarah Halvorsen stepping into goals and Leah Giuffre returning after missing last weekend’s match.
What the coaches say
Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis is expecting a tough game given the two sides’ previous history.
“The girls know what to expect against Merewether and we know that it’s always a physical battle,” Davis said.
“We will work hard at training this week and look to keep improving on our attack with the energy and work ethic we have had in previous games.”
Merewether coach Cass Koppen knows her side will have to be at their very best to overcome a strong Warners Bay outfit.
“It’s not great timing with our absences but I anticipate the remained of the squad will lift in our top of the table clash,” Koppen said.
“We need to capitalise on the opportunities we create which should make it a great game.”
A match that is bound to be tough and physical as the two top teams in the competition go head to head. A fiery Merewether side will make Warners Bay pay if they are slow off the mark and player-coach Cassidy Davis will be drilling the importance of a quick start into her side at training this week. Alison Logue is arguably the best keeper in the competition and her loss will certainly be felt by the home side but Sarah Halvorsen should perform well in Logue’s place. Myamblah Oval is a difficult pitch to play on and Merewether has the advantage of both training and playing on the park which will be beneficial for Sunday’s game. It should be a thrilling match for spectators with Warners Bay possibly edging out an under-strength Merewether.